What July 1st Means to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tomas Kaberle

July 2nd, 2010 by Oli Platt Leave a reply »
With Colby Armstrong and a couple of two-way contracts Brian Burke's only additions on July 1st, it is perhaps safe to presume that the Maple Leafs general manager will turn his attention to the trade market in order to bolster his thin selection of top six forwards.

Armstrong, while regarded as a third liner, trails only Matt Cullen and is tied with Olli Jokinen and Ray Whitney in annual salary amongst the forwards changing teams as free agents so far. Ilya Kovalchuk and Matthew Lombardi are the only forwards remaining who are sure to pass that $3 million per year mark. It is not a rich crop.

The trading chip most likely to return a significant forward is, of course, defenseman Tomas Kaberle, whose value will be affected by a much deeper group of free agent defensemen.

One team it is safe to rule out after yesterday's activities is the Pittsburgh Penguins. They added Zbynek Michalek and Paul Martin to their blue line for a combined cost of $9 million a year to replace the outgoing Sergei Gonchar, who signed in Ottawa for $5.5 million per.

New Jersey also seems an unlikely suitor now (despite previously reporting having strong interes ...

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